Over the last years, there is a large effort from the ferries companies to develop environmental policy to prevent sea and air pollution. In fact, according to studies, vessels in the Greek shipping industry have decreased energy consumption by 30%. Clearly, Greek ferries passengers have set an important goal: to safeguard and protect the marine environment.
Greek ferries environmental policy has implemented strict measures and adopted significant initiatives in order to achieve this goal. In many cases, Greek ferries environmental policy extends to providing general and task-specific training to the employees. It is notable that this policy adheres to local and international regulations, constantly undergoing quality certification procedures. Here are the environmental protection measures of the most important Greek ferry companies.
Greek ferries environmental policy: Blue Star & Superfast Ferries
Blue Star Ferries and Superfast Ferries are members of the Attica Group. Its state-of-art vessels serve itineraries from Piraeus to several Greek islands and from Patras and Igoumenitsa to the Italian ports of Ancona and Bari.
Both Superfast and Blue Star Ferries are active members of the non-profit and non-governmental organization HELMEPA, the Hellenic Marine Environment Protection Association aimed at safeguarding the marine ecosystem. They were the first Greek ferry companies to receive certification as per ISO 14001 Environmental Management System. Later on, they were also granted ISO 9001:2000, which serves as a further recognition of the ferries eco-friendly policy.
Due to the excellent levels of engine performance, a considerable reduction in fuel consumption and waste emissions has been achieved. In addition, solid waste has been reduced by minimizing the use of plastics and disposable food and retail packaging. Concerning sea water pollution, all local and international regulations (e.g. MARPOL) are strongly adhered to, in a non-stop effort to protect the seas.
In order to prevent oil spills and discharges, the ferry company has installed in vessels an oil separation equipment, which can separate oil from bilge water. Finally, all chemicals used on board have been selected based on their environmental friendliness.
Since 1999, Hellenic Seaways has been actively involved in the Greek shipping industry. It is devoted to offering high-quality services on safe and environmental friendly vessels. As a result, it has been awarded with many certifications by local and international organizations. For example, Nisos Mykonos has been granted the Green Star certificate. This is a certification by the Italian Surveyor RINA for conformity to all the pertinent regulations for the protection of the environment.
Minoan Lines is another important ferry company in the Greek shipping industry. Its modern vessels serve the travel routes between Greece and Italy but also between the port of Piraeus in Athens and Heraklion Crete. The company has always shown great respect to the environment, following a corporate policy for environmental issues, aspects, impacts and safety, and complying with all local and international regulations (e.g. MARPOL). In 2010, Minoan Lines was certified by the RINA with ISO 14001:2004, Environmental Management System for the Sea Transportation of Passengers and Vehicles.